Friday, July 01, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 July 2016 - 7 July 2016

Looking at which movies are playing on which screens, I'm just dumbfounded that everybody seems to think there's more interest in a pulp character nobody has cared about in decades (and then, because he was part of something else) than a new Steven Spielberg movie. And that, when all is said and done, a horror sequel will probably be more popular anyway.

  • Still, I am most looking forward to The BFG myself: It is Steven Spielberg adapting a Roald Dahl novel with a screenplay by Melissa Matheson (they previously did a little movie called "E.T." together), with Mark Rylance doing motion capture as the "big, friendly giant" of the title (he got an Oscar acting for Spielberg in Bridge of Spies just a few months ago). Oh, and Spielberg did nice work in 3D with Tintin, so it might be neat to see how he uses it in live action. It is at the Captiol, Apple Fresh Pond, West Newton (2D only), Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere (including XPlus).

    Still, many of the premium 3D screens are going to The Legend of Tarzan, with Alexander Skarsgård going shirtless in the title role, Margot Robbie as Jane, Christoph Waltz as the fillain, and Samuel L. Jackson & Djimon Hounsou on-hand to try and make you forget that this is about a white guy who is the savior of the African jungle. David Yates may have done well with the Harry Potter stuff, but he's also not Spielberg. It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond (2D only), Jordan's Furniture (Imax 3D), the Embassy, Boston Common (including Imax 3D), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Fenway (including RPX 2D/3D), Revere (including MX4D), and the SuperLux.

    The big (non-Finding Dory) winner at the box office will probably be The Purge: Election Year, with writer/director James DeMonaco doing for overt political satire as the third entry in the series puts a presidential candidate who vows to end its central idea of all crime being legal for one night in the crosshairs. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre has new movies on both of their main screens this weekend, with Swiss Army Man getting a lot of the publicity. It's a Sundance hit with Paul Dano as a man stranded on a deserted island with only a farting corpse (played by Daniel Radcliffe) to help - fortunately, the corpse does have other abilities. It's pretty charming, really, and also plays at the Somerville, West Newton, Kendall Square, the Embassy, and Boston Common.

    There's been less publicity for Our Kind of Traitor, although it's got a fine cast starting with Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris as a couple on vacation who are passed information by a Russian money-launderer (Stellan Skarsgård). It can also be found at West Newton, the Kendall, and Boston Common.

    In addition to that, the good folks at the Coolidge are keeping very busy with special screenings. For July they're actually doing two midnight "Summer of Psychos" midnight shows per weekend, with this week's program featuring Taxi Driver on Friday night and Falling Down on Saturday, both in 35mm. They take the 35mm projectors on the road on Wednesday, showing The Muppet Movie on Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway on Wednesday (rain date Thursday). Back in Brookline, they celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Alloy Orchestra on Wednesday and Thursday, with two screenings of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
  • Swiss Army Man and Our Kind of Traitor are just about half of what's opening at Landmark's Kendall Square, which turns over about five screens. One of the most anticipated things they're getting is The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the newest from New Zealand's Taika Waititi, in which a foster kid (Julian Dennison) seems to finally find a home but winds up heading into the bush with his "uncle" (Sam Neill) when things go wrong. It was pretty popular at IFFBoston, if I remember correctly, and will be expanding to other local screens in the coming weeks. Also from down under comes Last Cab to Darwin, in which a dying cabbie drives cross-country for euthanasia, although the people he meets along the way, I'm guessing may give him a new lease on life. It's booked for a week.

    They're also the first place in the area to get Wiener-Dog, a new comedy from Todd Solondz in which a dachshund winds up bouncing between multiple humans. And while The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble expands to other theaters this week - the Coolidge, West Newton, and the Lexington Venue - the Kendall welcomes back musician Reylon Yount & The Silk Road Project's Laura Freid for a Saturday afternoon Q&A.
  • All the new American stuff means Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond doesn't have much room for Indian stuff, with just scattered screenings of Udta Punjab (subtited Hindi) and Rojulu Marayi (Telugu, I think), at least until Wednesday, when Sultan opens, starring Salman Khan as a MMA star. Notably, Chilean action star Marko Zaror seems to be credited second. They do give a couple slots a day to American indie Buddymoon, in which a man dumped just days before his wedding opts to use the already-booked trip to the mountains of Oregon to hang out with his best man. Wackiness (and, presumably, finding the actual right girl) ensues.

    There's space for a Chinese movie over at Boston Common, though. No One's Life Is Easy: So I Married an Anti-Fan (actually "So I Married My Anti-Fan" on the DCP) is cute, with Yuan Shanshan as a young tabloid writer who gets on the wrong side of Korean pop star Hu Jun (Park Chanyeol) only to discover actual dislike rather than resentment when they are paired for a reality show. It is, of course, a romantic comedy.
  • David Lynch's Blue Velvet get a re-release at The Brattle Theatre, having the place mostly to itself for the first week of the July/August calendar. Maybe I'll get around to seeing it this time. The only interruption is on Monday, when Jaws bumps it for a couple of Fourth-of-July screenings.
  • The 18th Annual Roxbury International Fim Festival wraps up on Friday at The Museum of Fine Arts, with closing features including Sembene!, How We Met (with director Oscar Rene Lozoya on-hand), and 9 Rides (post-film Skype Q&A with director Matthew Cherry). No other film programs until Thursday, when the MFA starts their 21st Annual Boston French Film Festival with the multiple-Cesar-winning Fatima.
  • The "Midnight Special" at The Somerville Theatre this weekend is El Topo; they'll be showing Alejandro Jodorowsky's surreal Western (which basically invented the midnight movie) on 35mm. They push Free State of Jones over to The Capitol in Arlington, who will be playing a double feature of Crossroads and Crybaby on the 7th as part of their Throwback Thursday series.
  • In addition to the Coolidge's presentation of The Muppet Movie on Wednesday, Joe's Boston Free Films shows An Affair to Remember at the Boston Harbor Hotel Friday night, Minions at the Prudential Center Saturday & the Waltham Lyman Estate Thursday, and Zookeeper at Revere Beach on Thursday Plus, of course, the big fireworks display Monday night, which is not only awesome itself but will have a great many theaters shutting down early.
I figure on checking out The BFG, Our Kind of Traitor and Tarzan, having already caught Swiss Army Man and So I Married My Anti-Fan. I'll probably hit one of the Metropolis screenings as well.

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